Ochre, gelatin, glycerin, and water. With these four natural substances, Soowon Chae has developed a contemporary material, called Ocragela, which is sustainable and biodegradable.
With red ochre, early human beings had dragged out various functions for a natural coloring agent, curing wounds, tanning leathers, and protecting their skins from the sun. So, I not only use ochre as a coloring agent, but also as a tribute to the curiosity and creativity of the prehistoric man, and the respect early human beings showed for nature.
How different is the story behind gelatin, often regarded as a kind of ‘inferior’ residual product of the meat-processing industry. That is precisely why I chose it as a main ingredient to create a sustainable material with completely new possibilities. And to twist the stereotyping and the commercial value by contemporary man in a society dominated by the principles of capitalism and to question the authentic values for the better world.
This 1st edition of furniture made of Ocragela, named ANIMA series, questions the value of standardized mass-products of today. As anima, an origin word of animus which means rational soul, life or intelligence, signifies ‘breath’, this design is inspired by intuitive life-form of nature and processed in one-of-a-kind way from carving the wood to upholstering the structures with Ocragela.